Anime: IGPX Immortal Grand Prix aka: Immortal Grand Prix
"In the year 2049, the world's most popular mobile sport is the Immortal Grand Prix..."
"From the studio that brought you Ghost In The Shell, Cartoon Network is proud to present the first Toonami original series: IGPX."
Winning the minor league championship, IGPX-2, with sheer luck, Team Satomi is promoted to compete with five teams in the IGPX-1 division, home to the best of the best. The rookie team consists of Takeshi Jin, a talented hotshot, Amy Stapleton, who at thirteen is a prodigy, telepathically linked to her feline co-pilot Luca, and Liz Ricarro, a hotheaded martial artist. Supporting the pilots on the sidelines: owner and supervisor Michiru Satomi, mechanic Mark Ramsey, assistant Jessie Martin, backup pilot River Marque, and coach Andrei Rublev. Together they form a close team as they reach for the crown.The sport IGPX combines motor racing with old-fashioned roller-derby, via teams consisting of three Humongous Mecha and their pilots. Races consist of 180 miles of track, with much of that length suspended hundreds of feet in the air in loops, tunnels, turns, and diverted side-tracks. After the first lap, competing teams are actually allowed to use their mecha to disable or slow down the mecha of the other team in an all out melee at 350mph (565kph). At their discretion, racers may transform into a high speed mecha variance in the third and final lap... if their opponents are kind enough to let them.Originally rejected as a series when pitched to Cartoon Network, a Microseries was released in 2003 as a replacement in Toonami's Total Immersion Event. Ratings were high enough, and viewer response good enough, that it was picked up as a 13-episode series airing in 2005. A second season began airing in 2006, but got moved from Saturdays at 10:30 to Friday at midnight.IGPX is currently enjoying time on the revivedToonami block, airing at 2:30 AM. On October 19th, Toonami aired the last two episodes back-to-back at 2:30 and 3:00 AM as a "one-hour finale", pre-empting Star Wars: The Clone Wars for one night. Afterwards, the show moved to 4:30 AM for its second run.
The Ace: Takeshi's hero, an enigmatic pilot from decades back called "The Rocket," although since his personality is never explored in this time frame, he might not necessarily qualify. Later, it turns out The Rocket is the team coach.
Alternate Continuity: In the original IGPX Microseries, the IGPX was a three-against-three armed mecha battle, not a race. Takeshi Noa was a pilot for Team Suzaku. Cartoon Network even made a game out of this on its website.
Benjamin Bright: Lets go over the rules of the IGPX, for the two or three of you who don't know.
Badass Grandpa: Yama's the oldest pilot in the IG1. That doesn't mean he's a pushover. On or off the track.
Battle Couple: It is established early on in the series that Liz and Takeshi regularly spar together, long before the second season started hinting at their Last Minute Hookup. Given that Liz and Takeshi often fill the combat role in races, including a rather gratuitous scene of them facing down Yamma, this trope easily fits their relationship.
Eagle Land: One can make a case about Sledge Mamma being Type 2, but as the series progresses they begin to lean more towards Type 3, showing a strong disdain for sabotage and cheating, which is more than what can be said for White Snow.
Even Evil Has Standards: Sledge Mama will fight dirty during a race but never outside of a race. They show a strong disdain for sabotage and cheating, which is more than what can be said for White Snow.
Heel-Face Turn: In the second season, an underhanded team called Team White Snow is introduced and presented as the obligatory villains of the rest of the series until its very end, after their captain realizes that being an Insufferable Genius and fighting dirty can't compensate for honest effort and rapport with team-mates. White Snow then resolves to fight fair next year.
Lonely at the Top: Cunningham was blessed with talent that allowed him to become the best in the league, but he found no satisfaction with being unchallenged, so he was rather happy when Takeshi came along.
Loophole Abuse: Several of the stupidly overpowered techniques used are allowed because there Ain't No Rule against them. Subverted later when said techniques get banned for being dangerous and game breaking.
Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty: How Team White Snow usually operates. Hacking into systems, ganging up on opponents, even combining their mechs to form one super-powered bot. Oddly enough they never get called out on this or disqualified. It falls sorely on Team Satomi to beat them at their own game.
Team Sledge Mama as well though they only keep it toward rough housing and nothing beyond that. They even save Team Satomi from a group of fans who were trying to severely injure them.
Tuckerization: Team Edgeraid's Bella DeMarco is named after producer Jason DeMarco's daughter.
Wave Motion Gun: Team Velshtein's Indoraga Mano attack. Mark's description of how it works doesn't help much:
Mark: High voltage pulses create an imbalance in the air pressure, which results in a high impact tornado.